Harley-Davidson’s newly-appointed president and CEO Jochen Zeitz has reportedly purchased $US2.1m ($A3.2m) of H-D stock, or 97,850 shares.
Zeitz had been acting in his position as president and CEO as Matthew Levatich stepped down, but was officially handed the job on May 7. The next day, Zeitz purchased a large block of shares.
Financial publication Barrons also reports that Mr Zeitz converted the 3.7m share units that he was given for directing the Milwaukee firm since 2007, into the equivalent stock.
This means that Mr Zetiz now holds more than 100,000 Harley-Davidson shares, 225,403 restricted stock and 22,612 share units.
According to Barrons, this is the first open-market purchase that Mr Zeitz has made since he joined Harley-Davidson, and the largest stock purchase made by a company insider in three years.
It’s unclear if the Harley chief is attempting to bolster the company’s financial position, or is just confident in his plans to revive the struggling business.
As INFO MOTO previously reported, Harley-Davidson has been hit particularly hard by the coronavirus pandemic, seeing a global profit decline of 45 per cent in the first three months of 2020.
Specifically, the company’s net income fell from $US128m in the quarter of last year, to $US70m during the same period in 2020.
There is some hope, however, as independent market watchdog Argus Research upgraded Harley stock from a Hold to a Buy earlier this month.
“Our upgrade reflects our positive view of the company’s new strategic plan,” said Argus analyst David Coleman.
“We expect the plan, called ‘The Rewire,’ to result in a solid recovery for Harley as the economy restarts.”
The ‘Rewire’ is a five-year strategy implemented by Jochen Zeitz that will see broad cost cutting, and delays to the more ambitious projects implemented by Harley’s former CEO, like the Pan America adventure bike and new electrified models.
Instead, Harley-Davidson will focus on its products and customer segments that generate the most profit, like its iconic touring motorcycles and current, loyal clientele.
Spencer has a keen eye for hard news, and does some of his best living on deadline day. He loves more than anything to travel on his motorcycle, and is adamant that Melbourne Bitter is a world-class lager. He also knows how to operate the big computery thing in the office. By night, Spencer plays guitar with Melbourne punk outfit LOUTS.